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3-slot Graphics Cards in Crossfire

Hey! I currently have an Asus 7970 DirectCU 2, and I'm debating on getting a second one. Only problem is that the 7970's are 3-slot cards, and often they are cramped together because of the PCI-E spacing on the motherboard. When they sit so tight together it ruins the airflow, especially for the top card. The Asrock Z77 Extreme3 has enormous spacing between the 1st and the 3rd PCI e slots. Is it possible to fit 1 card in the 1st and 1 card in the 3rd slot?
My CM HAF X has 9 pci slots.
Thanks in advance!
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  1. The 3rd slot is PCIe ver 2 at X4 speed so I would not recommend it. People have successfully CFed 3 slot cards with the 3 slot spacing between the top two slots. With a side intake fan they should have sufficient cooling.
  2. TheErkish said:
    Hey! I currently have an Asus 7970 DirectCU 2, and I'm debating on getting a second one. Only problem is that the 7970's are 3-slot cards, and often they are cramped together because of the PCI-E spacing on the motherboard. When they sit so tight together it ruins the airflow, especially for the top card. The Asrock Z77 Extreme3 has enormous spacing between the 1st and the 3rd PCI e slots. Is it possible to fit 1 card in the 1st and 1 card in the 3rd slot?
    My CM HAF X has 9 pci slots.
    Thanks in advance!


    The 3rd slot on that board is PCI-E 2.0 4x. You could use it but you will see a bottleneck due to bandwidth restrictions. If that wasn't enough of an issue, finding a crossfire bridge long enough to cover that gap could be a pain haha.
  3. Nice GPU and it's understandable that you would want a space between two in crossfire.

    But wow, what a messed up board! I'm just looking at the manual now.
    http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme3/?cat=Manual

    It only shows that top slot(PCIe3) being used for tri-crossfire. Plus a standard bridge connector would never span that distance anyway(PCIe1 to PCIe3).

    A high end Asus ROG board would be great in your case and give the proper spacing. But with the cost involved, that is likely out of the question. You could wait till the 25th and see what the AMD party in Hawaii brings... the successor to the 7970 will be released.
  4. It will work, I happen to have the same graphics cards. Yeah the top one rose by like 20 degrees (from 60 to 80) but it is still reasonably safe. I used the crossfire bridge included and it works great. My case is an Antec 902 V3 with medium fan speeds. Don't worry, they are really 2.5 width cards so there is space for the top card to breathe.
  5. Thanks for the answers!

    The Asrock board was just a suggestion, I haven't bought it or anything. I've seen many high-end and quad sli/crossfire board where they've used the 1st and the 3rd slots, giving 1 slot between them.
    Only problem is that I don't want to spend THAT much money on a motherboard. Do you guys have a suggestion for a cheaper board?
  6. Best answer
    TheErkish said:
    Thanks for the answers!

    The Asrock board was just a suggestion, I haven't bought it or anything. I've seen many high-end and quad sli/crossfire board where they've used the 1st and the 3rd slots, giving 1 slot between them.
    Only problem is that I don't want to spend THAT much money on a motherboard. Do you guys have a suggestion for a cheaper board?


    This one would work perfectly, as long as you can find a crossfire bridge long enough for the gap. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130687 The 3rd slot is PCI-E 2.0 16x which is more than enough for a pair of 7970's. Hope this helps!
  7. Zero Cool said:
    TheErkish said:
    Thanks for the answers!

    The Asrock board was just a suggestion, I haven't bought it or anything. I've seen many high-end and quad sli/crossfire board where they've used the 1st and the 3rd slots, giving 1 slot between them.
    Only problem is that I don't want to spend THAT much money on a motherboard. Do you guys have a suggestion for a cheaper board?


    This one would work perfectly, as long as you can find a crossfire bridge long enough for the gap. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130687 The 3rd slot is PCI-E 2.0 16x which is more than enough for a pair of 7970's. Hope this helps!


    Do you think that the crossfire brigde that came with the card isn't long enough?
  8. TheErkish said:
    Zero Cool said:
    TheErkish said:
    Thanks for the answers!

    The Asrock board was just a suggestion, I haven't bought it or anything. I've seen many high-end and quad sli/crossfire board where they've used the 1st and the 3rd slots, giving 1 slot between them.
    Only problem is that I don't want to spend THAT much money on a motherboard. Do you guys have a suggestion for a cheaper board?


    This one would work perfectly, as long as you can find a crossfire bridge long enough for the gap. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130687 The 3rd slot is PCI-E 2.0 16x which is more than enough for a pair of 7970's. Hope this helps!


    Do you think that the crossfire brigde that came with the card isn't long enough?


    I've got the same card, let me check mine real quick.
  9. You know what, I think it is long enough. I just held it up to my 7970 and it looks like it reaches down to that 3rd PCI-E slot. Good call!
  10. Bringing up a fairly old thread here, but I actually bought a MSI Z77A-G45 extremely cheap. Unfortunatly, it was the non "Gaming" version, where the 3 pci-e slot is wired in gen 2 4x speed. Uggh... Anyway, thx for all the help
  11. The gaming version has the same slot configuration, that is the 3rd slot at wired at 2.0 @ X4 speed so basically no difference http://us.msi.com/product/mb/Z77AG45_GAMING.html#specification
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